Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center

Planning your Oral Presentation

You have to give an oral presentation in two days on a topic of your choice, regarding research in your major. How do you plan for this presentation? Just like writing an essay, you start with a plan.

Steps for Planning Your Oral Presentation

1. Determine your reasoning for this presentation

Is your purpose to inform, educate, entertain or convince? Once you know this, you can structure how you want the delivery to look, as well as the topics you want to address

2. Keep only the most important information

Determine what your topic will be and the areas that you plan to touch upon.

3. Know your Audience

This is one of the most important steps when planning and delivering a presentation. It is essential that you know whowill be listening to your presentation and remembering to adjust your words, your visuals and your expectations, however, your goal should be the same, making sure the audience understands what you have presented to them.

4. Create an Outline

Layout your basic talking points. Like that of an essay, you have the opening statement, your body paragraphs, and your closing statement. Try not to overload your outline, or note cards with too many words. Your purpose as a presenter is to have knowledge of your topic, therefore too many words will give the audience the impression that you are not knowledgeable of the information you are presenting.

5. Practice

This is the most important step of all those outlined. Practicing what you are going to say, how you are going to say it is the essential to giving a presentation. Practice with friends or family, or with yourself in the mirror. This practice will take away some of the anxieties we get when talking in front of others as well as increase your confidence.